The Difficulties of Online Learning

woman writing in a notebook with laptop nearby Photo by Nenad Stojkovic distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license

Those of us who have been on campus before are used to getting dinner with friends at the DCT, quick walks through campus when we’re running late for class, or even late-night trips to the village to get some ice cream. But this semester is clearly different. None of us are experiencing what a “normal college” has been in the past, and no one could have ever predicted that this would be our new reality. Some of us are still living at home, others got apartments with friends, and a select few are even living in Emory’s beloved dorms, but without a roommate to keep them company. 


For me at least, this semester has been one of the most difficult and draining. There is an outpour of time-consuming, mindless work from professors I have never held a conversation with. There are distractions coming from every direction, be it my dog barking at a squirrel in the yard, or my parents watching TV at the volume of a rock concert. And did I mention the fact that I rarely get to have any social interactions with friends? Even despite the challenging courses I knew I would be taking and the overwhelming coursework I saw coming, I could have never predicted the rut that I would experience this semester. I, as I’m sure many of you have as well, have managed to find myself stuck in an unbreakable, dull routine. Every day, I do the same thing: get up, go to class, work, walk my dog, work again, watch Netflix, go to sleep, and repeat. With the lack of spontaneity or even a break from the constant work we’re being assigned, it’s impossible for me to not feel burnt out. And the scary thing is, we’re going to have to do it all again next semester.


Staying connected with friends, and changing things up daily can help combat the isolation that so many of us are feeling. Even taking up a new hobby or going on walks with friends or family has uplifted my mood and aided in the monotonous grind of everyday life. It’s the little things that can make all the difference. 


It might never be the same as it was for the rest of our college years, but it’s important to remember how lucky we all are to be safe, healthy, and attending a university that is trying to keep it that way. All we can do is try our best, remember to take care of ourselves, and keep moving forward. It’ll get better!